Any visitor to Manchester will soon notice the big yellow beasties that buzz through the streets. I’m talking about the Metrolink trams.
Originally blue and white they’re now yellow and a silvery grey. The trams have been back on the streets since 1992 after a long absence during which the car was thought to be king of the road. Well eventually the wheels came off that. Driven by increasing congestion and a desire to link the cities two main railway stations, conveniently built by the Victorians on opposite sides of the city.
Various options were explored, from a monorail to a tunnel before the light rail solution was chosen. It was driven in part by the equipment on the rail route out to Bury becoming life expired. So this line in the north of the city and the one out to Altrincham in the south were the first two parts converted. A street running section followed and then in fits and starts, due to that heady mix of politics and money, the rest of the network came to be.
I think there’s about 65 mile ish of route at the moment. The latest stretch runs out past the Imperial War Museum North to the retail delights of the Trafford Centre. Think the Palace of Versailles with shops. A tram will also take you to the airport as well as to the bustling markets of Bury ( nice pies ) and Altrincham ( good coffee) . The Media City and the Lowry Theatre are also available on’t tram . There’s also a seething array of possible expansions, routes to Stockport bubble to the surface from time to time as well as hybrid tram/train services.
So if your in town, when such things are a thing again. Treat yourself to a tram ride.
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